What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ‘Chinese New Year’?
For some of us, it’s the nostalgic memories of sweet, crisp pineapple tarts made by our grandparents, lively moments of out-of-tune singing to boisterous Chinese New Year songs, whether at home or on road trips overseas, and a cosy reunion dinner with some of our closest loved ones and family members.
For some of us, Chinese New Year comes with a tinge of bittersweet emotions and a little more frustration than we’d like: distant relatives that ask too many personal questions, the pressure of socialising with people we’re not exactly the closest to, the absence of family, and disruptive loud noises.
Everybody has their own ups and downs about Chinese New Year, and that’s perfectly okay.
Whether or not you embrace this festive season in the brightest red apparel, prefer a quiet celebration with close friends and family, or are somewhere in between and have a love-hate relationship with the new year, we believe there are moments this Chinese New Year that can bring surprise and joy.
With that, we’d like to bring you a little joy too this Chinese New Year, starting off with this playful and practical CNY Planner.
Your Personal 2024 CNY Planner
We know planning for the new year can get a little difficult, especially for those of us navigating new job responsibilities and opportunities at work this year. So here is an all-in-one, helpful checklist of steps you can tick off as you prepare so that you can spend less time on the to-dos, and more time enjoying the precious moments (and of course, your favourite Chinese New Year snacks).
To add a little spice to our checklist, we’ve come up with a few simple riddles in our step-by-step CNY Planner. Here’s to planning for an auspicious, harmonious, and fun-filled Chinese New Year together!
CNY Riddle 1:
Threads of love, stitched with care,
in vibrant hues, for you to wear.
What am I?
#1 Shop for your festive Chinese New Year Clothes.
As we gear up for Chinese New Year, retail outlets are filled with brand new clothing displays and attractive sales. It’s more than just a tradition to follow along – the practice of purchasing new clothes have a deeper meaning, symbolising our anticipation for new beginnings and a prosperous year ahead.
Welcome the new year with intricate traditional patterns and motifs, mandarin collars, and oriental pankou knots, with modern twists to greet the new year in style.
Whether you’re drawn to bold, attention-grabbing red and gold apparel or prefer to opt for more versatile pieces with captivating cultural nods that match effortlessly with your existing wardrobe, there’s something for everyone.
Express your unique flair and personality along with your hopes for the new year through vibrant attire. And while you’re at it, you might want to explore local online retail outlets for stylish modern options or share the joy by getting matching apparel with your partner, parents, children or friends.
CNY Riddle 2:
Sweet and savoury, I’m hard to hate. Possibly the most loved CNY treat to date.
Filling your stomach, I bring the cheer. Without me we’d be in tears.
Guess what I am?
#2 Order your delicious Chinese New Year Goodies.
Crisp and sweet pineapple tarts which melt slowly and satisfyingly in your mouth. Sticky, white, flower-shaped kueh bangkit. Flavourful bites of succulent and savoury bak kwa (barbecued meat). And the colourful blend of classic Chinese New Year bites in our yearly yusheng, topped off with the most important ingredient: thick slices of raw salmon (or the crispy golden crackers, some children might say!).
Arguably one of the best things during Chinese New Year is the food we share with our loved ones. As you prepare for feasts with family and friends, don’t forget to stock up on your classic Chinese New Year goodies. Here’s a compiled list of Chinese New Year foods.
- Mandarin Oranges
Chinese New Year Goodies:
- Pineapple tarts
- Bak Kwa (barbecued meat)
- Arrowhead chips
- Nian Gao (Chinese New Year Cake)
- Kueh Bahulu
- Love letters
- Kueh Bangkit
- Green Pea Cookies
Apart from these favourite bites we all love, remember to place your orders or book restaurant reservations for your family reunion dinners, and stock up on some juicy abalone and silky bird’s nests if you’re planning to cook.
- Restaurant Reservations in Singapore and/or Chinese New Year Set Menus
- Yu Sheng
- Bird’s Nests
CNY Riddle 3:
The reason we celebrate, you bring a smile to my face.
When the day gets busy, home is where you’re safe.
Who am I?
#3 Schedule your Chinese New Year gatherings with family and friends.
The heart of every Chinese New Year lies in the company of those we hold dear. Before the hustle and bustle of the year takes over and schedules become packed, take a moment to reach out to your closest family members and friends. A simple heartfelt text or call can make a world of difference in letting them know you care.
Schedule your Chinese New Year gatherings in advance so that everyone has ample time to prepare and jot these joyous dates down in their calendars.
There’s truly nothing quite like festive lohei cheers over colourful yusheng and cosy reunion dinners that create that warm sense of homecoming and togetherness we all treasure.
If you’re looking to get a Chinese New Year hamper filled with classic treats for your loved ones this year, do browse through our Chinese New Year Flowers and Gift Hampers curated especially for you, and keep an eye out on our website or socials for exclusive Buy 2 Get 1 Free discounts, up to 20% off for selected gift hampers, free delivery and many more exclusive deals we have for you.
CNY Riddle 4:
Christmas just ended, I’m already here! I’m eager to spread some festive cheer.
In shopping malls and all around, just take a look and I’ll be found.
What am I?
#4 Put your best Chinese New Year Decorations on display as you spring clean.
Deck the malls with… Chinese New Year decorations? The bright red, pink, orange, and gold cascading displays are making a triumphant return to usher in another auspicious and joyful new year.
As you prepare for Chinese New Year by clearing out older unused items and making space for the new, take a walk down Chinatown and you’ll find all you need to infuse your homes with the festive cheer.
Red paper Chinese New Year couplets, yellow pineapple lanterns, and flourishing kumquat trees – these decorative elements are a great way of expressing your hopes for an abundant and prosperous year ahead.
CNY Riddle 5:
You’ve been waiting for me, I’m sealed with care.
I’m filled with money! To save, perhaps to share?
Dressed in bright red, I’m here to delight-
Sometimes they fill me with chocolate coins.
What am I?
#5 Share your blessing with Chinese New Year red packets.
Bless your loved ones and relatives with red Chinese New Year packets this Spring Festival. Enclosing these crisp, new bills into the red envelopes is a way of expressing your well-wishes for the people that matter most to you this new year.
But while the monetary blessing is something we all appreciate, the cultural significance behind this tradition is found in the red packet itself, which symbolises happiness and prosperity.
If you’re giving out red packets this Chinese New Year, consider various different even-numbered amounts as you prepare this heartfelt gift to your parents or children. Avoid giving amounts which are odd-numbered or have the number ‘4’ in them as those tend to be associated with funerals in the Chinese culture.
The practice of giving red packets vary from family to family — some households exchange red packets between married couples, whereas others simply give to younger children or siblings who aren’t married yet, so do ask around and ask early! For better personal financial management for the year ahead, you could consider making a list of the people you want to give to.
Perhaps you’d also like to share the festive joy with the public workers around you, whether it’s the kind elderly cleaner or foreign workers who labour tirelessly to provide a clean and modern environment for us to live in.
Regardless of the chosen amount, what truly matters is the sincerity and warmth behind your act of generosity, particularly as a working adult sharing with younger generations. So here’s your friendly reminder to let the pressure of over-giving roll of your back and feel satisfied as you give within your means.
Celebrating Laughter and Cheer: A Toast To An Auspicious Chinese New Year
With that, we hope these five practical to-dos, coupled with our simple riddles have already sparked a bit of festive Chinese New Year joy. With the new year fast approaching, all of us at Noel Gifts are looking forward to feasting on Chinese New Year goodies and sharing the festive joy with our families and customers! We hope these serve as helpful companions in preparing you for the vibrant new year ahead.